City firms, Darab, Solicitor - Employment Law; Chris, Solicitor - Commodities, Shipping and International Trade , London
|Starting a business|
Career Change Story
In August 2010 we launched online comparison site www.savvyshopping.co.uk. We remain committed to our careers as lawyers however. After a period undertaking pro bono work via Lawworks, Darab now works back in a City firm. Chris left his previous position for family reasons and decided to take some time out of his legal career do something completely different before he goes back.
In August 2010 www.savvyshopping.co.uk was launched. The site is an online comparison site that searches and compares items on special offer or sale across a number of retailers. We're proud to have household names like John Lewis, House of Fraser, Debenhams and Boots amongst the 100+ stores on board with us to name a few.
The motivation behind launching a "good value" site that makes the most of the disposable income available to a consumer, was the current economic climate. Consumers are crying out for ways to make their pennies stretch and we believe that we found a way to allow consumers to use the top names in retails without necessarily having to pay full price.
There are 100,000s of items on sale every day across a number of well known retailers. What we discovered was that trying to look for a particular item on sale was like searching for a needle in a haystack. You either had to visit a retailer's store or website physically - a time consuming process that didn't expose you to enough retailers. What www.savvyshopping.co.uk allows you to do is search for a particular item or browse categories of items across a broad spectrum of retailers (100+ at last count). You can use a search function which is similar to a Google search bar, or if preferred, search a particular retailer using the appropriate tab on the site. We wanted the site to have the best parts of both a Google search and a leading retailer's webpage.
We approached a number of retailers to discuss the idea, which were met with interest. Once we had agreements in place to display products on our site, we set about programming the database and the site itself. The site is updated on a daily basis and this is key to ensuring the content remains current and a brand people can trust.
Career Change Reflections
A legal career is challenging enough but setting up a business/website without any prior experience in the area is even more so.
Our top 3 tips for people thinking about setting up their own online business or website:
1. Make sure you understand what it is you are offering.
2. Designing a website can be anything from easy to massively complicated. Make sure you choose a designer and programming team who have a track record in achieving results with sites similar to your concept. Get a number of quotes, but don't necessarily choose the lowest one you can find. The proverb "if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys" does come to mind.
3. The internet is a big place. There is no point in having a fantastic site if you don't market it correctly. The internet is growing at a tremendous rate and traditional marketing models rarely apply. Understand how you will spread the word, otherwise you will have the best site no one has ever heard of.